Biden Hires Clinton-Obama Veteran as New Campaign Manager in Leadership Shakeup

March 13, 2020 Updated: March 13, 2020
FONT BFONT SText size

Former Vice President Joe Biden announced on March 12 he has hired a veteran of Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s White House bids as his Democratic presidential campaign manager.

The Democratic presidential front-runner’s campaign announced Thursday that Jen O’Malley Dillon will succeed Greg Schultz as campaign manager. O’Malley Dillon most recently managed former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s 2020 presidential bid, and is a veteran of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

The 43-year-old has already helped Biden, 77, resurrect his campaign. She was brought in to focus on Nevada after disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.

While it is not entirely clear what post Schultz will take on, Biden officials said he will focus on “organizational planning for the general election and continuing to bolster the campaign’s external outreach,” reported Fox News.

Schultz has continued to serve Biden with a wide-ranging portfolio, including as a primary contact for top donors and elected officials around the country. Anita Dunn will maintain her role as senior adviser.

“I am grateful to Greg for his leadership and hard work to help get our campaign where it is today, and I will value his continued input on this campaign,” Biden said in a statement. “I am also thrilled that Jen is bringing her considerable talent and insight to this team. She will be a tremendous asset to a campaign that is only growing and getting stronger as we prepare to take the fight to Donald Trump this fall.”

The shake-up of Biden’s campaign leadership comes as he looks to close out the Democratic primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and prepares to secure the nomination to face President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

O’Malley Dillon served as a deputy campaign manager for Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. She was a top official in Clinton’s 2016 campaign and later was Clinton’s choice as co-chair of the Democratic Party’s special commission that overhauled the 2020 nominating process.

“Like so many other Democrats who are unifying behind Joe Biden’s character and leadership, I’m excited to join the team at this critical moment,” O’Malley Dillon said in a statement circulated by Biden’s campaign.

Earlier this week, Biden built a significant lead over Sanders scoring a key victory in the battleground state of Michigan and picking up wins in Missouri, Mississippi, and Idaho.

Sanders won North Dakota. Biden, after being roughly even with Sanders so far in the count for Washington state, now narrowly leads by 26,982 votes with 87 percent of precincts reporting so far.

The elections in the six states marked the first time voters weighed in since the contest narrowed to a two-person race on Super Tuesday, when Biden’s campaign made a dramatic comeback after underwhelming performances in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.

The two Democratic candidates will face each other in a live debate, but without a live audience, on March 15, according to the Democratic National Committee.

Ivan Pentchoukov and the Associated Press contributed to this report.